• February 3, 2023

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BYD, the China vehicle and battery maker backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said on Sunday sales of new energy vehicles more than tripled in June to 134,036 from 41,036 a year earlier, underscoring the popularity of EVs in the world’s largest auto market.

The company’s sales in the first six months of the year soared by 315% year-on-year to 641,350 EVs, shaking off industry disruption from Covid-related lockdowns in Shanghai. BYD’s sales in June also topped May’s 114,943.

BYD’s HK-traded shares have gained 35% in the past year, giving it a market value worth more than GM and Ford combined.

Brutal lockdowns of up to two months in connection with China’s “zero-Covid” policy hurt economic growth and squeezed global supply chains in the country in recent months. Shanghai partly eased the restrictions on June 1.

Smaller China EV makers XPeng, NIO and Li Auto also reported year on-year sales gains in June.

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BYD’s overall business is more diversified than its rivals – it also makes handset components and photovoltaics. Among its customers are Dell, Apple, Xiaomi and Huawei. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holds a 7.7% stake in BYD, which ranked No. 579 on the Forbes Global 2000 ranking of the world’s top publicly traded companies earlier this year.

BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu holds a fortune worth $23.9 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today. BYD Vice Chairman Lu Xiangyang, a cousin of Wang who also leads investment firm Youngy Investment Holding, is worth $19 billion, and BYD director Xia Zuoquan, who leads investment firm Zhengyuan Capital, is worth $4.3 billion.

China has the largest number of billionaires in the world after the United States.

@rflannerychina

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